Wildboyz: Season 1
May 18, 2005
Imagine The Crocodile Hunter mixed with the antics of Jackass and you have a pretty good idea of what Wildboyz is all about. After the demise of Jackass, Steve-O and Chris Pontius did some soul-searching and decided to become “research scientists.” To this end, they now travel the globe “studying” wild animals in their natural habitats and experience the local customs and practices indigenous to that area. What does this all mean? Plenty of Jackass-style gross-outs, captured in eight episodes on this solid 2-DVD set.
Wildboyz is a sly spoof of those old Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom shows with Marlon Perkins. As if to further reinforce the ridiculousness of these kinds of shows, there is even a faux British narrator who establishes every segment. Each episode is set in a specific area of the world (Alaska, Belize, Australia) and features Chris and Steve-O “studying” an animal or insect (or snake) and then getting bitten, clawed or otherwise maimed. They never hurt the animals. Nine times out of ten it is they who are hurt by said creature. Along for the ride on most shows is animal expert, Manny Puig, a wild-haired, scruffy looking dude who doesn’t look like he’d be an expert of anything but seems to keep the boys out of trouble and offers the occasional bit of sage advice. Johnny Knoxville even makes an appearance in an episode set in Florida and fakes a fatal snake bite as a practical joke on Steve-O.
What makes the show work so well is the personalities of Chris and Steve-O and the dynamic between them. Chris is the braver of the two (in one episode, he sneaks up on a jaguar) while Steve-O is the scaredy-cat (and is often the first to run at the sign of any kind of danger). They make a great team and seem to be genuinely having fun and impart a love for animals. Hell, there is even the occasional factoid about said animal or place so who’s say that it isn’t also educational to some degree? However, fans of Jackass can rest assured that there are plenty of gross-outs, like Steve-O puking (as he does almost every episode), and crazy-ass stunts (when Chris and Steve-O toss around a raw slab of ham with hyenas).
If you can get into it, Wildboyz is a lot of fun to watch. It really shows off the exotic locales that Chris and Steve-O visit, which is half the appeal of watching. The other half is, of course, watching the boys be tormented by some animal that they really shouldn’t be messing with.
Each episode features an audio commentary by Chris, Steve-O, series’ director Jeff Tremaine and executive producer, Dimitry Elyashkevich. These are funny tracks as everyone jokes and makes fun of Steve-O for being such a coward. They often comment on the on-screen action in a very amusing way (according to everyone involved there are many “ticklish” moments in the show). These are wonderfully chaotic and entertaining tracks—a must-listen for any fan of the show.
“The Making of Wildboyz” is a playful and irreverent look at the show with interviews with Steve-O, Chris, Manny and Jeff Tremaine. Chris and Steve-O talk about their experiences with clips of some of their most memorable moments on the show (i.e. when a bear bit Chris on the ass).
Also included is “Bonus Footage” from all the episodes, including lots of blown lines to introductions for various segments.
There is a snazzy “Photo Gallery” that features pics from all the episodes with captions. Nice touch!
There are two music videos for Turbonegro, who do the show’s theme song (sadly, none of them are for that song).
There are biographies and interviews with Steve-O and Chris (anyone who quotes Led Zeppelin is okay in my books).
“Bite List” is a comprehensive list of bites that Chris and Steve-O have taken from various animals in the first season. Chris edges out Steve-O 18 to 17.
“Wildboyz Encyclopedia” supports my lame-ass theory that Wildboyz is also an educational show. This extra gives you the low-down on an animal from each one of the episodes and a clip from said show. For example, one can learn about the giant squid from New Zealand and watch a funny clip where they study a corpse of a male one.
Finally, there are outtakes from all the episodes, including a disgusting wilder beast autopsy by Chris and another that has him mixing it up with a “mean” camel. There is also a nice bit where they celebrate Steve-O’s birthday by staying with a native family. There is a very impressive amount of extra footage not seen on the show.
Tired of the wholesome family fun of Steve Irwin? Sick of Jeff Corwin’s earnest shtick? Then, look no further. The Wildboyz is the gonzo nature show for you. There’s plenty of macho action with men throwing up, running away from wild animals and bitten by nasty insects. The show is all in good fun and really should be viewed that way. This is 2-DVD set is crammed with extras (more than I expected) that fans of the show will spend hours enjoying.